parsing legalese (intellectual property) help?

You are not my lawyer, I am not your client, etc.

Blogspot’s TOS states in part:

Bolding mine: I interpret this to mean that by posting my copyrighted materials on a blogspot blog, I am granting Google a license to post that material on said blog. IOW, Google isn’t helping themselves to my materials just because I post them.

Am I in the ballpark, or am I totally mis-interpreting this?

They way I read it, they can republish it anywhere inside the Google-verse where it would be relevant to do so. For example, they don’t need separate permission to display the first few lines of your blog on a “roundup” page like this one:
http://blogsearch.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wb

I also interpret it mean they can use it to advertise (if need be), because it falls under distributing Google services, but the chances of that approach nil because they, you know, have a marketing department for that. (Is this the same clause that was causing trouble with Chrome, the one that got retroactively removed? Or was that one worded slightly differently?)

Well, that’s the key point of contention. I’m not too interested in being used as a (possible) source of free stock photos for Google’s magazine ads or whatever. A search page is fine – Google crawls my webpage anyway, and that’s kind of the point of having a webpage – but if someone’s using my photography for commercial purposes, I expect 1> money and 2> credit. I’m happy to have the exposure, but not at the cost of giving up my right to even get credit or, for that matter, have a say in what happens to the photo.

Also the fact that I don’t always get model releases, if I’m not planning on selling the photos commercially, which means both Google and I could be liable if they do.

Jragon, what’s your background? Do you specialize in IP law or something related? I didn’t think that “distributing” services was the same as “advertising” them. I thought distribution was just loading up the service software/database on a bunch of server farms and making them publicly available.

It’s not really legalese, so just give it the plain meaning that you would as a layperson. Google claims no ownership or control of your work, but by virtue of you posting your work on google services, implicit is their right to distribute it on google services.

Yeah… if I could see an obvious plain meaning, I wouldn’t have posted asking how to parse it. And there seems to be some dispute over whether “displaying and distributing Google services” means “having blogs and search engines available to the public” or also “creating marketing materials in whatever media to advertise the blogs/search engines.” The first I have no problem with. The second I do.

Can anyone with a legal background help? I want to be sure I’m not signing away all of my IP rights with Google.

The way I read this is that as Google repackages and updates it distribution and marketing schemes, you agree that your material can appear in whatever formats or sites or schemes they choose to offer it in. Like when they added Google Images, they didn’t need your permission to display your website among the results of a Google Image search, even though that seach wasn’t possble (the service didn’t even exist) when you posted your site.